Canada’s prime minister has stated Canadian safety companies are investigating “credible allegations of a possible hyperlink” between Indian authorities brokers and the killing of a distinguished Sikh-Canadian activist earlier this yr.
Talking in Parliament on Monday afternoon, Justin Trudeau stated he personally conveyed “deep issues” to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi earlier this month.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar was fatally shot on June 18 exterior a Sikh temple in Surrey, a metropolis in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia, spurring widespread questions and condemnation.
“Any involvement of a international authorities within the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty,” Trudeau stated on Monday.
“Within the strongest attainable phrases, I proceed to induce the federal government of India to cooperate with Canada to unravel this matter.”
The Excessive Fee of India within the Canadian capital Ottawa didn’t instantly return Al Jazeera’s request for touch upon the allegations.
Canadian International Minister Melanie Joly stated in a while Monday that the federal government had expelled an Indian diplomat – the pinnacle of India’s exterior intelligence company, often called RAW, in Canada – over the allegations.
She didn’t present extra particulars, such because the official’s title or when the expulsion passed off.
“We see this attainable breach of sovereignty as utterly unacceptable, and in order that can also be why we’re coming [out] with this data right now,” Joly instructed reporters throughout a quick information convention.
The Globe and Mail newspaper first reported that Canadian nationwide safety authorities have “what they think about credible intelligence that India was behind” the killing of Nijjar.
Sources that spoke to the Canadian information outlet didn’t say how they made that willpower.
“The Canadian authorities has privately dominated out severing diplomatic relations with New Delhi however is contemplating measures to reply to what it considers a severe violation of Canadian sovereignty,” the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.
Monday’s accusations come amid already strained relations between Ottawa and New Delhi, which have been examined over a spread of points together with a stalled commerce deal and Sikh activism in Canada extra broadly.
Modi, the Indian prime minister, expressed “sturdy issues” about Sikh protests in Canada throughout his talks with Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20, the Indian authorities stated in a press release after the discussions.
“They’re selling secessionism and inciting violence towards Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises, and threatening the Indian group in Canada and their locations of worship,” the statement stated.
In response to the Globe and Mail and different media experiences, Nijjar was designated as a “terrorist” by the Indian authorities.
“India’s counter-terrorism Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) has alleged he conspired to kill a Hindu priest in Punjab and in 2022 it introduced a reward equal to $16,200 for data resulting in his arrest,” the Canadian newspaper stated on Monday.
The activist was additionally concerned with a gaggle known as “Sikhs for Justice”, CBC Information has reported. The organisation pushes for an unbiased Sikh state in India, a name the Indian authorities have rejected outright.
Canadian lawmakers from throughout the political spectrum have been fast to denounce India on Monday for its potential position within the activist’s killing.
Pierre Poilievre, the chief of the opposition Conservative Celebration, stated within the Home of Commons that if if the allegations are true, they’d signify an “outrageous affront” to Canadian sovereignty.
“Canadians need to be protected on Canadian soil,” Poilievre stated. “We name on the Indian authorities to behave with utmost transparency as authorities examine this homicide as a result of the reality should come out.”
Canadian authorities proceed to research Nijjar’s killing, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) saying last month that they’d recognized a car believed to have been concerned within the incident. Authorities say they’re on the lookout for three suspects.
Jagmeet Singh, the chief of the progressive New Democratic Celebration (NDP), who’s of Sikh descent, stated it was essential for Canada to make use of “each instrument” out there to research the killing.
“We have to know the reality. We have to know all potential hyperlinks, and anybody and everybody accountable needs to be delivered to justice utilizing the complete energy of a democratic nation,” Singh stated.